Author Topic: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?  (Read 8938 times)

expatartist

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #50 on: March 27, 2017, 10:20:10 PM »
It is a well documented phenomenon that being from a foreign land automatically increases your attractiveness for the natives, up until the point that you become so ubiquitous to be considered a commodity.

An American who's a 6 who goes to Canada gets bumped to maybe a 6.2, but becomes a solid 8 in Germany.

Hm, depends on many factors. In Asia thanks to cultural expectations and post-colonial history, most countries are paradise for white men, a bit less for other ethnicities --- it's routine to see male 2's with (local) female 9's. This is not the case for foreign women, however: the perception of our attractiveness is perhaps cut in half. Then again, maybe we (foreign women) aren't interested in being fetishized....I never was.

As an American immigrant to Hong Kong, I still get the "Oh McDonald's is American cuisine, you're all fat, well you're an exception hahaha!"

Linda_Norway

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #51 on: March 28, 2017, 04:51:14 AM »
Not a question, but I get a bit tired of that my Norwegian colleagues only associate the country I come from with pot. E.g. a person tells that his plane landed in Amsterdam. And immediately a joke is made about relaxing out. I am always the last one to get those jokes, because I am the last one among my colleagues to associate Amsterdam with pot.

Something else they always presume it that Dutch people skate on the channels all winter long. They obviously have no idea about how warm the climate is.

marielle

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #52 on: March 28, 2017, 06:20:25 AM »
As an American immigrant to Hong Kong, I still get the "Oh McDonald's is American cuisine, you're all fat, well you're an exception hahaha!"

Not far from the truth to be honest. If you're somewhat skinny and maybe have 5-10 pounds of extra fat, people in the US call you skin and bones and tell you to gain weight. If I was in my home country (Ukraine) I would be considered fat, or not ideal weight for a woman at the very least.

Freedomin5

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #53 on: March 28, 2017, 07:03:33 AM »
It is a well documented phenomenon that being from a foreign land automatically increases your attractiveness for the natives, up until the point that you become so ubiquitous to be considered a commodity.

An American who's a 6 who goes to Canada gets bumped to maybe a 6.2, but becomes a solid 8 in Germany.

This didn't happen to us when we (Asian) immigrated to Canada. We were mocked because of our names, looks, etc. Being from a foreign land decreased our attractiveness for the natives.

But back on point, stupid questions I've been asked:

1. Is the only thing you drink tea? Do you drink coffee?
2. Do you know how to use a fork or do you only use chopsticks?
3. Do you eat dog?
4. What language do you speak in Canada? (This was from a college-aged American)
5. Oh, you're from Canada? Is that like, another state? (Also from a college-aged individual)
6. How can you be Canadian? You don't look white.

Scandium

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #54 on: March 28, 2017, 12:42:38 PM »


As an American immigrant to Hong Kong, I still get the "Oh McDonald's is American cuisine, you're all fat, well you're an exception hahaha!"

This is how most of Europe see Americans. Fat, driving huge trucks, shitty food, and guns.
Now statistically they're not totally wrong though.. US does top the charts for obesity, trucks and guns.


craiglepaige

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #55 on: March 28, 2017, 04:59:53 PM »
I'm sure anyone else from New Mexico can relate.

"Why is your English so good?"
"Do you need a passport to visit the US?"
"You mean like Mexico City?"

Thanks to Breaking Bad it's less of an issue than it used to be.
It's even worse for Puerto Ricans. The vast majority of Americans have no idea Puerto Rico is part of the United States, let alone place it on a map.

So they'll get questions like "how hard was it to immigrate" or "when are you becoming a citizen".

This was even on display during the Justice Sotomayor nomination. The media kept saying her parent's "emigrated" from Purto Rico.. Ehh, in the same way you "emigrate" from Illinois to Virginia? It's called moving!

Haha I've gotten those questions before. They used to annoy me but now I just shrug it off.

I went to get my CCW license a few years back in a more rural area than Cleveland where I used to live. The lady (officer?) at the counter asked me to fill out a form. In it, one of the questions was "Place of birth?", to which I wrote, "Caguas, Puerto Rico."

I returned the application and she read through it and looked at me quizzically. She then got up and  went to the back to speak with a higher ranking officer(Sergeant?).  Not going to lie, I was kind of afraid at that moment. I mean, I do look Mexican/Arabic'ish depending on my hair and beard.

So anyways, she comes back and asked if I had a passport? I responded yes I did but not on me. I asked if a passport was needed for a CCW because I wasn't aware of that?  She said only for non-US born citizens. I was dumbfounded. I opened my mouth and closed it a few times trying to come up with an answer which would not get me arrested lol.

Finally, I nicely answered that Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the United States and I'm a US born citizen. No passport needed.  To my surprise she then asked, "Then why do you have a passport?"
At that moment I got upset so I looked at her and at the officer who she had spoken to and I coldly responded, "Because I have been fortunate to have traveled to Canada, Jamaica, Spain, Rome and France, and as a US citizen, I need a passport to travel there. You should try it."

They both looked at me and realized their lack of knowledge made them look dumb, so they put me through the line and I got my license after about 1/2 hour as opposed to getting it a few days later.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 06:08:49 AM by craiglepaige »
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scottish

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #56 on: March 28, 2017, 07:41:11 PM »
I regularly ask any Canadian I meet if he lives in an igloo

Igloos are only for camping.    We live in cabins.    Log cabins.   With fireplaces.

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #57 on: March 28, 2017, 07:43:30 PM »
I went to get my CCW license a few years back in a more rural area than the Cleveland. The lady (officer?) at the counter asked me to fill out a form. In it, one of the questions was "Place of birth?", to which I wrote, "Caguas, Puerto Rico."

I returned the application and she read through it and looked at me quizzically. She then got up and  went to the back to speak with a higher ranking officer(Sergeant?).  Not going to lie, I was kind of afraid at that moment. I mean, I do look Mexican/Arabic'ish depending on my hair and beard.

So anyways, she comes back and asked if I had a passport? I responded yes I did but not on me. I asked if a passport was needed for a CCW because I wasn't aware of that?  She said only for non-US born citizens. I was dumbfounded. I opened my mouth and closed it a few times trying to come up with an answer which would not get me arrested lol.

Finally, I nicely answered that Puerto Rico is a Commonwealth of the United States and I'm a US born citizen. No passport needed.  To my surprise she then asked, "Then why do you have a passport?"
At that moment I got upset so I looked at her and at the officer who she had spoken to and I coldly responded, "Because I have been fortunate to have traveled to Canada, Jamaica, Spain, Rome and France, and as a US citizen, I need a passport to travel there. You should try it."

They both looked at me and realized there lack of knowledge made them look dumb, so they put me through the line and I got my license after about 1/2 hour as opposed to getting it a few days later.

THEN WHY DO YOU HAVE A PASSPORT.

Oh snap. That's amazing.

craiglepaige

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #58 on: March 29, 2017, 06:11:36 AM »
Yes, amazing indeed.
Years later I'm still baffled by her ignorance. I have been asked silly/dumb questions before but that was one of the dumbest ones ever.
-The conqueror will always become a slave to his conquest.

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Matt

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #59 on: March 29, 2017, 06:42:58 AM »
I think it also depends on how diverse the city is that you are from or going to.  I'm from Houston, TX and went to school with and worked with folks from all over the world.  I now live in the midwest and feel like a foreigner lol.

When people in the midwest hear i'm from HOUSTON TX:
1.  Oh so you are a Cowboys fan...SMH  no I'm from HOUSTON we have our own football team
2.  Are you a Longhorn or an Aggie?...SMH...no I'm a HOUSTON Cougar
3.  Do you ride horses/bulls/ect
4.  Houston must of have been nice an warm.  lol no its swampy and humid  Oh, is it near the water?  Ummm, yes its on the Gulf of Mexico

Of course I ask silly questions of them too.

1.  Whats the deal with basements?
2.  You actually drive on the frozen lake?
3.  What do you mean I can't get a breakfast taco or kolache?
4.  Why is everything closed on sunday/after 10pm/ect
5.  What is a supper club?
               
« Last Edit: March 29, 2017, 07:57:12 AM by Matt »

Jenny1974

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #60 on: March 29, 2017, 06:58:19 AM »
Not an immigrant but I'm from Oklahoma so people assume we live on the land with our cows and oil wells.  Someone was genuinly surprised once when I mentioned having an outlet mall! 

Psychstache

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #61 on: March 29, 2017, 07:41:25 AM »
I think it also depends on how diverse the city is that you are from.  I'm from Houston, TX and went to school with and worked with folks from all over the world.  I now live in the midwest and feel like a foreigner lol.

When people in the midwest hear i'm from HOUSTON TX:
1.  Oh so you are a Cowboys fan...SMH  no I'm from HOUSTON we have our own football team
2.  Are you a Longhorn or an Aggie?...SMH...no I'm a HOUSTON Cougar
3.  Do you ride horses/bulls/ect
4.  Houston must of have been nice an warm.  lol no its swampy and humid  Oh, is it near the water?  Ummm, yes its on the Gulf of Mexico

Of course I ask silly questions of them too.

1.  Whats the deal with basements?
2.  You actually drive on the frozen lake?
3.  What do you mean I can't get a breakfast taco or kolache?
4.  Why is everything closed on sunday/after 10pm/ect
5.  What is a supper club?
             

To be fair on this one, UT and A&M fans outnumber U of H fans roughly 10000000:1, and the national airtime for their respective games is skewed accordingly, so I get this one.

- Cougar Alum in Dallas

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #62 on: March 29, 2017, 09:59:40 AM »
Triple citizenship here, although I have a decidedly "neutral" (read: white skin, brown hair) look. Since my "look" doesn't distinguish me in my three countries of citizenship (US, Canada and France), it's my name and accent that baffles people. I don't have an accent when speaking in English (born and raised in the US), but I have a francophone name (Quebecois father and French mother). People don't understand how to pronounce it and wonder where I'm from. I'm from the US. No, no, where we're you born? THE US for F***s sake!

I have an accent when speaking in French simply because I have a mixture of Quebecois and French (my parents). Either way.... to both (Quebecers and French), I'm American, not a REAL Canadian or French. I've lived in Québec for 12 years, been a citizen for 30, but nope, not a real one (even though my name is Quebecois).

It gets fun at the Canada-US border. I'm obliged to show a US passport to come into the States, but then they ask me my status in Canada. Coming back, I have to show my Canadian, but my place of birth shows the US, so they ask me my status there. Basically, no matter where I go, I'm never actually home.

And for god's sake, where did the rumour that I can't have multiple citizenships after the age of 18 arise? Because I get asked that EVERY SINGLE TIME I travel with multiple passports.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #63 on: March 29, 2017, 10:04:13 AM »
And for god's sake, where did the rumour that I can't have multiple citizenships after the age of 18 arise? Because I get asked that EVERY SINGLE TIME I travel with multiple passports.
Just say they're bending the rules for you because you are an FBI informant.

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #64 on: March 29, 2017, 11:31:09 AM »
And for god's sake, where did the rumour that I can't have multiple citizenships after the age of 18 arise? Because I get asked that EVERY SINGLE TIME I travel with multiple passports.
Just say they're bending the rules for you because you are an FBI informant.

The name's Bond. James Bond.

rockstache

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #65 on: March 29, 2017, 11:35:37 AM »
I think it also depends on how diverse the city is that you are from or going to.  I'm from Houston, TX and went to school with and worked with folks from all over the world.  I now live in the midwest and feel like a foreigner lol.

When people in the midwest hear i'm from HOUSTON TX:
1.  Oh so you are a Cowboys fan...SMH  no I'm from HOUSTON we have our own football team
2.  Are you a Longhorn or an Aggie?...SMH...no I'm a HOUSTON Cougar
3.  Do you ride horses/bulls/ect
4.  Houston must of have been nice an warm.  lol no its swampy and humid  Oh, is it near the water?  Ummm, yes its on the Gulf of Mexico

Of course I ask silly questions of them too.

1.  Whats the deal with basements?
2.  You actually drive on the frozen lake?
3.  What do you mean I can't get a breakfast taco or kolache?
4.  Why is everything closed on sunday/after 10pm/ect
5.  What is a supper club?
             

Well.....what IS a supper club?

Matt

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #66 on: March 29, 2017, 11:43:09 AM »
I think it also depends on how diverse the city is that you are from or going to.  I'm from Houston, TX and went to school with and worked with folks from all over the world.  I now live in the midwest and feel like a foreigner lol.

When people in the midwest hear i'm from HOUSTON TX:
1.  Oh so you are a Cowboys fan...SMH  no I'm from HOUSTON we have our own football team
2.  Are you a Longhorn or an Aggie?...SMH...no I'm a HOUSTON Cougar
3.  Do you ride horses/bulls/ect
4.  Houston must of have been nice an warm.  lol no its swampy and humid  Oh, is it near the water?  Ummm, yes its on the Gulf of Mexico

Of course I ask silly questions of them too.

1.  Whats the deal with basements?
2.  You actually drive on the frozen lake?
3.  What do you mean I can't get a breakfast taco or kolache?
4.  Why is everything closed on sunday/after 10pm/ect
5.  What is a supper club?
             

Well.....what IS a supper club?

Still not quite sure.  I went to one to find out and basically its a restaurant with a separate bar where you are seated before dinner and go to afterwards for cocktails.  Which I would just call a restaurant.  But, the whole thing felt like my grandma put tables in her living room and called it a restaurant.   ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

Rimu05

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #67 on: March 29, 2017, 12:56:00 PM »
Triple citizenship here, although I have a decidedly "neutral" (read: white skin, brown hair) look. Since my "look" doesn't distinguish me in my three countries of citizenship (US, Canada and France), it's my name and accent that baffles people. I don't have an accent when speaking in English (born and raised in the US), but I have a francophone name (Quebecois father and French mother). People don't understand how to pronounce it and wonder where I'm from. I'm from the US. No, no, where we're you born? THE US for F***s sake!

I have an accent when speaking in French simply because I have a mixture of Quebecois and French (my parents). Either way.... to both (Quebecers and French), I'm American, not a REAL Canadian or French. I've lived in Québec for 12 years, been a citizen for 30, but nope, not a real one (even though my name is Quebecois).

It gets fun at the Canada-US border. I'm obliged to show a US passport to come into the States, but then they ask me my status in Canada. Coming back, I have to show my Canadian, but my place of birth shows the US, so they ask me my status there. Basically, no matter where I go, I'm never actually home.

And for god's sake, where did the rumour that I can't have multiple citizenships after the age of 18 arise? Because I get asked that EVERY SINGLE TIME I travel with multiple passports.

I'm a dual citizen and I think every one with a dual citizenship faces the issue of showing both passports otherwise you have to buy a visa. Well at least I do. Plus if I am a tourist, I pay damn near $100 less for safaris with my Kenyan passport.

Vous avez trois nationalites, c'est pas complique... (Don't know how to add accents on work computer...)


Abe

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #68 on: March 29, 2017, 07:44:04 PM »
Fun game...I'll give some questions I've been asked, and you all try to guess my original nationality.

"Where's your turban?" ... "Wait, not all of you wear turbans?"
"Were you born in a hut?" ... "Was it crowded?"
"How did you get rid of your accent?"
"Were you born on a reservation?"
"What age do you learn to ride a horse?"

and of course...
"Do you know Dr. Patel?"

Linda_Norway

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #69 on: March 30, 2017, 12:50:10 AM »
Fun game...I'll give some questions I've been asked, and you all try to guess my original nationality.

"Where's your turban?" ... "Wait, not all of you wear turbans?"
"Were you born in a hut?" ... "Was it crowded?"
"How did you get rid of your accent?"
"Were you born on a reservation?"
"What age do you learn to ride a horse?"

and of course...
"Do you know Dr. Patel?"

Maybe Mongolia?

MonkeyJenga

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #70 on: March 30, 2017, 06:22:03 AM »
Fun game...I'll give some questions I've been asked, and you all try to guess my original nationality.

"Where's your turban?" ... "Wait, not all of you wear turbans?"
"Were you born in a hut?" ... "Was it crowded?"
"How did you get rid of your accent?"
"Were you born on a reservation?"
"What age do you learn to ride a horse?"

and of course...
"Do you know Dr. Patel?"

I guessed Indian just from the turban comment. That assumption is way too common, unfortunately.

Linda_Norway

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #71 on: March 30, 2017, 07:13:49 AM »
Fun game...I'll give some questions I've been asked, and you all try to guess my original nationality.

"Where's your turban?" ... "Wait, not all of you wear turbans?"
"Were you born in a hut?" ... "Was it crowded?"
"How did you get rid of your accent?"
"Were you born on a reservation?"
"What age do you learn to ride a horse?"

and of course...
"Do you know Dr. Patel?"

Or possibly Australia and you must be Aboriginal.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2017, 07:18:53 AM by Linda_Norway »

Dave1442397

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #72 on: March 30, 2017, 07:45:16 AM »
Not long after I immigrated from Ireland, I had someone tell me I spoke good English.

I was also able to convince a co-worker that yes, all houses have thatched roofs, turf-burning fireplaces and cows in the yard. I said that we used to have to go to school on donkeys, but had upgraded to a tractor, which was much faster.

My mother did actually use a donkey to go to school back in the early '50s, but it was a donkey pulling a little cart that could hold four people.

BlueHouse

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #73 on: March 30, 2017, 07:49:12 AM »
Fun game...I'll give some questions I've been asked, and you all try to guess my original nationality.

"Where's your turban?" ... "Wait, not all of you wear turbans?"
"Were you born in a hut?" ... "Was it crowded?"
"How did you get rid of your accent?"
"Were you born on a reservation?"
"What age do you learn to ride a horse?"

and of course...
"Do you know Dr. Patel?"

I guessed Indian just from the turban comment. That assumption is way too common, unfortunately.

Yeah, definitely Indian from the turban AND the reservation comments.  So perfect 
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Fish Sweet

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #74 on: March 30, 2017, 06:00:41 PM »
I'm Taiwanese, in an area chock full of East Asian people and specifically Taiwanese people, even, and I still get some.... shall we say, fun questions and assumptions and comments.

  • Not a question, but, "Wow, your English is so good."  Ah yes, I've spoken it for 20 years and counting.  I was in fact, an English major.  BONUS:  Someone asks me where I'm from, I tell them, which gets followed up by, "Oh, I can totally hear your accent."  Hey asshole, I don't have an accent.  (No knocks against people who do, but I definitely don't.)
  • The standard [where are you from] interrogation, which goes something like:  "Where are you from?"   "The Bay Area."  "Well.... before that."  "Canada."  "I mean, where were your grandparents from?" and so on and so forth until a suitably "foreign" country name is extracted.  Dunno what a fourth generation immigrant might say but I'm sure it would be hilarious. 
  • Relatively harmless but kind of annoying comments like, "You'll be my Asian buddy and I'll be your American buddy!"  I'm American too, you know...
  • And strangest of all, once my boss's friend started going on this weird tangent about how Asians and other immigrants liked flourescent lighting because "we were so used to it in our native countries" and how Americas (aka white people) liked incandescent because it was warmer or something.  Then she looked to me and asked me which I liked.  When I answered incandescent, she chalked it up to me being too Americanized.  I still laugh thinking about it.
  • Dudes who think that because I'm a petite east asian woman, I'll be nice and submissive (ick) and fawn over them because reasons and get all huffy and offended when that turns out to not be the case.  Gross, dude.  I'm not here to be your ~China doll~

RetiredAt63

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #75 on: March 31, 2017, 09:53:38 AM »
I'm Taiwanese, in an area chock full of East Asian people and specifically Taiwanese people, even, and I still get some.... shall we say, fun questions and assumptions and comments.

  • Not a question, but, "Wow, your English is so good."  Ah yes, I've spoken it for 20 years and counting.  I was in fact, an English major.  BONUS:  Someone asks me where I'm from, I tell them, which gets followed up by, "Oh, I can totally hear your accent."  Hey asshole, I don't have an accent.  (No knocks against people who do, but I definitely don't.)
  • The standard [where are you from] interrogation, which goes something like:  "Where are you from?"   "The Bay Area."  "Well.... before that."  "Canada."  "I mean, where were your grandparents from?" and so on and so forth until a suitably "foreign" country name is extracted.  Dunno what a fourth generation immigrant might say but I'm sure it would be hilarious. 
  • Relatively harmless but kind of annoying comments like, "You'll be my Asian buddy and I'll be your American buddy!"  I'm American too, you know...
  • And strangest of all, once my boss's friend started going on this weird tangent about how Asians and other immigrants liked flourescent lighting because "we were so used to it in our native countries" and how Americas (aka white people) liked incandescent because it was warmer or something.  Then she looked to me and asked me which I liked.  When I answered incandescent, she chalked it up to me being too Americanized.  I still laugh thinking about it.
  • Dudes who think that because I'm a petite east asian woman, I'll be nice and submissive (ick) and fawn over them because reasons and get all huffy and offended when that turns out to not be the case.  Gross, dude.  I'm not here to be your ~China doll~

Of course you have an accent - Canadian standard.  Since there are so many Canadians in show business, Canadian standard is not an accent for Americans.   ;-)

The fluorescent lights comment was just plain weird. 

Be a strong (former) Canadian woman.  Americans must fear/respect us (so they don't want us as their next 10 states).
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ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #76 on: March 31, 2017, 10:20:10 AM »
Had a shipping clerk explain to me that moving some of my things from Texas to New York would be more because there's a "surcharge for the West Coast."

Not a big deal, but, have you SEEN a map?

(My sister is married to an Asian man and gets people assuming her children are adopted.)

merula

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #77 on: March 31, 2017, 11:25:43 AM »
I am not an immigrant, but my husband is a first-generation American. His father was born in South America to Spanish expat parents but raised in Madrid. Both my husband and father-in-law are blond and blue-eyed.

So, first of all, no one believes that my husband is Hispanic, because of his coloring and incredibly Anglo name. Then, they don't believe that Spain is a real country, or that the food and culture might be different from Mexico. (The existence of tortilla española is intrinsically baffling.) Even people who should know better act....oddly...around peninsular Spanish. High school Spanish teachers wouldn't let my husband use words like vosotros or gafas, or the Spanish c/z pronunciations.

But the best part is when people will make anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant comments on the assumption that they're in lily-white company. Oh boy.

MrsStubble

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #78 on: March 31, 2017, 05:11:54 PM »
this is hysterical.  If it helps it's not just the stupidity of people against immigrants.  I am first generation american, my parents are from holland.  The most common questions i get are:

What happened to your accent?

Are your parents from Pennsylvania?  (PA Dutch is not Dutch Dutch.)

How can your parents be immigrants they are white?  (No kidding. all the time.  From americans and immigrants, apparently you aren't allowed to be a white immigrant.)

Do you speak German?  (BAHHHHH!!!!!)

 
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Abe

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #79 on: March 31, 2017, 09:52:07 PM »
Yeah, I'm Indian. Also, strangely enough, some people think I was born in Indiana...but am an immigrant to the US.

pudding

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #80 on: March 31, 2017, 09:59:14 PM »
Im English and have lived in Canada on and off for 40 years. One time about 35 years back someone asked me if we have telephones in England.
I thought it was amusing.

nnls

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #81 on: April 01, 2017, 01:19:06 AM »
Fun game...I'll give some questions I've been asked, and you all try to guess my original nationality.

"Where's your turban?" ... "Wait, not all of you wear turbans?"
"Were you born in a hut?" ... "Was it crowded?"
"How did you get rid of your accent?"
"Were you born on a reservation?"
"What age do you learn to ride a horse?"

and of course...
"Do you know Dr. Patel?"

Or possibly Australia and you must be Aboriginal.

Why would Aboriginal Australians wear turbans? or am I missing the joke.

This didnt happen to me, but my mates of Vietnamese descent but born in Australia were travelling to the USA and someone upon hearing their accent said "Oh I didnt know Australia had Asians"


Linda_Norway

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #82 on: April 01, 2017, 03:37:06 AM »
Fun game...I'll give some questions I've been asked, and you all try to guess my original nationality.

"Where's your turban?" ... "Wait, not all of you wear turbans?"
"Were you born in a hut?" ... "Was it crowded?"
"How did you get rid of your accent?"
"Were you born on a reservation?"
"What age do you learn to ride a horse?"

and of course...
"Do you know Dr. Patel?"

Or possibly Australia and you must be Aboriginal.

Why would Aboriginal Australians wear turbans? or am I missing the joke.

This didnt happen to me, but my mates of Vietnamese descent but born in Australia were travelling to the USA and someone upon hearing their accent said "Oh I didnt know Australia had Asians"

Not meant as a joke. I have been googling a lot on horseriding and this doctor. Dr. Patel only has connections to India and Australia. Then thinking about reservates, I guessed it had to be about indigenious people. I found some pictures of Aboriginals with a turban-like headware, although most pictures show people without.
I couldn't connect India with reservations, or is this just people confusing Indians with Native Americans?? Probably...

gaja

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #83 on: April 01, 2017, 03:45:05 AM »
I once tried to make a joke to some Spanish friends about all the polar bears in the streets in Norway. It fell flat to the ground when I found out they were convinced it was true.

The tourist agencies here have published lists of strange questions from tourists,  like "when do the fjords close", and "why does the midnight sun look just like the normal sun".
Travelling southern Norway, Iceland and the Faroes in an electric car: http://travelelectric.blogspot.no/

nnls

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #84 on: April 01, 2017, 04:29:53 AM »
Fun game...I'll give some questions I've been asked, and you all try to guess my original nationality.

"Where's your turban?" ... "Wait, not all of you wear turbans?"
"Were you born in a hut?" ... "Was it crowded?"
"How did you get rid of your accent?"
"Were you born on a reservation?"
"What age do you learn to ride a horse?"

and of course...
"Do you know Dr. Patel?"

Or possibly Australia and you must be Aboriginal.

Why would Aboriginal Australians wear turbans? or am I missing the joke.

This didnt happen to me, but my mates of Vietnamese descent but born in Australia were travelling to the USA and someone upon hearing their accent said "Oh I didnt know Australia had Asians"

Not meant as a joke. I have been googling a lot on horseriding and this doctor. Dr. Patel only has connections to India and Australia. Then thinking about reservates, I guessed it had to be about indigenious people. I found some pictures of Aboriginals with a turban-like headware, although most pictures show people without.
I couldn't connect India with reservations, or is this just people confusing Indians with Native Americans?? Probably...

Oh ok. I don't think I have ever seen pictures of Indigenous Australians in turbans, though I am sure there are some out there :)

Linda_Norway

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #85 on: April 01, 2017, 05:17:17 AM »
I once tried to make a joke to some Spanish friends about all the polar bears in the streets in Norway. It fell flat to the ground when I found out they were convinced it was true.

The tourist agencies here have published lists of strange questions from tourists,  like "when do the fjords close", and "why does the midnight sun look just like the normal sun".

American tourists have been surpriced to see big white snowballs laying around on grassy fields, visible from a tourist boat. (Tractor eggs)
Some Dutch people are afraid of tenting in Norway because they expect to be attacked by bears.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #86 on: April 01, 2017, 05:39:57 AM »

American tourists have been surpriced to see big white snowballs laying around on grassy fields, visible from a tourist boat. (Tractor eggs)
Some Dutch people are afraid of tenting in Norway because they expect to be attacked by bears.

Are the "tractor eggs" big round hay bales wrapped in white plastic?  That is what they would be here.

I see black bears regularly when I go to my sister's cottage near Algonquin Park - every time we go to the dump, there they are.  Otherwise, no bears.  Of course campers in wilderness areas are reminded to be sure food is well stored and inaccessible, or bears will visit.
The measure of civilization is how people treat one another.

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Linda_Norway

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #87 on: April 02, 2017, 01:04:49 AM »

American tourists have been surpriced to see big white snowballs laying around on grassy fields, visible from a tourist boat. (Tractor eggs)
Some Dutch people are afraid of tenting in Norway because they expect to be attacked by bears.

Are the "tractor eggs" big round hay bales wrapped in white plastic?  That is what they would be here.

Yes, they are. Some pastures lay very high and from a tourist boat you do not see them close up. Some people think they are big snow balls, even in midt summer.

RetiredAt63

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #88 on: April 02, 2017, 08:02:57 AM »

American tourists have been surpriced to see big white snowballs laying around on grassy fields, visible from a tourist boat. (Tractor eggs)
Some Dutch people are afraid of tenting in Norway because they expect to be attacked by bears.

Are the "tractor eggs" big round hay bales wrapped in white plastic?  That is what they would be here.

Yes, they are. Some pastures lay very high and from a tourist boat you do not see them close up. Some people think they are big snow balls, even in midt summer.

Right.  It's 25 or whatever summer temperature, and the big snowballs are still sitting there?  Probably the same people who brings skis (not water skis) to Canada in July.
The measure of civilization is how people treat one another.

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Cpa Cat

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #89 on: April 02, 2017, 09:19:15 AM »
Triple citizenship here...

It gets fun at the Canada-US border. I'm obliged to show a US passport to come into the States, but then they ask me my status in Canada. Coming back, I have to show my Canadian, but my place of birth shows the US, so they ask me my status there. Basically, no matter where I go, I'm never actually home.

And for god's sake, where did the rumour that I can't have multiple citizenships after the age of 18 arise? Because I get asked that EVERY SINGLE TIME I travel with multiple passports.

I am also a triple citizen! Canada-US-Great Britain.

Some customs official once told me that I should use the same passport when entering and leaving the country, and it should be the passport from the country where I live to avoid confusion. So for me, I exit the US on my US passport and enter the US on my US passport (I stand in the non-citizen line for Canada). All of the questions they ask then go naturally - Where are you staying? How long are you staying? What is the purpose of your visit?

I used to carry my Canadian passport just in case there was a problem - but eventually I let it expire. Only once in dozens of visits was I asked why I wasn't entering Canada on a Canadian passport if I was a Canadian citizen, and I told them that I was told to exit and enter on the same passport, and they decided that made sense.


But seriously with the questions about dual citizenship - it's not that complicated. I became a US citizen as an adult, and I still didn't have to renounce any citizenships!

One of the most common questions I'd get from the dual-citizenship thing was, "So you can go to Cuba!" No... still a US citizen. The US doesn't make exceptions to its laws just because I have another passport.

merula

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #90 on: April 03, 2017, 07:40:30 AM »
One of the most common questions I'd get from the dual-citizenship thing was, "So you can go to Cuba!" No... still a US citizen. The US doesn't make exceptions to its laws just because I have another passport.

My guess is that they meant you could fly to Cuba from Canada/UK on one of those passports, and then when you came back to the US, your US passport wouldn't show a Cuban stamp. That doesn't change the legality of violating the embargo, but it does make it very difficult to catch a violation.

Fish Sweet

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #91 on: April 04, 2017, 01:05:13 PM »
I'm Taiwanese, in an area chock full of East Asian people and specifically Taiwanese people, even, and I still get some.... shall we say, fun questions and assumptions and comments.

  • Not a question, but, "Wow, your English is so good."  Ah yes, I've spoken it for 20 years and counting.  I was in fact, an English major.  BONUS:  Someone asks me where I'm from, I tell them, which gets followed up by, "Oh, I can totally hear your accent."  Hey asshole, I don't have an accent.  (No knocks against people who do, but I definitely don't.)
  • The standard [where are you from] interrogation, which goes something like:  "Where are you from?"   "The Bay Area."  "Well.... before that."  "Canada."  "I mean, where were your grandparents from?" and so on and so forth until a suitably "foreign" country name is extracted.  Dunno what a fourth generation immigrant might say but I'm sure it would be hilarious. 
  • Relatively harmless but kind of annoying comments like, "You'll be my Asian buddy and I'll be your American buddy!"  I'm American too, you know...
  • And strangest of all, once my boss's friend started going on this weird tangent about how Asians and other immigrants liked flourescent lighting because "we were so used to it in our native countries" and how Americas (aka white people) liked incandescent because it was warmer or something.  Then she looked to me and asked me which I liked.  When I answered incandescent, she chalked it up to me being too Americanized.  I still laugh thinking about it.
  • Dudes who think that because I'm a petite east asian woman, I'll be nice and submissive (ick) and fawn over them because reasons and get all huffy and offended when that turns out to not be the case.  Gross, dude.  I'm not here to be your ~China doll~

Of course you have an accent - Canadian standard.  Since there are so many Canadians in show business, Canadian standard is not an accent for Americans.   ;-)

The fluorescent lights comment was just plain weird. 

Be a strong (former) Canadian woman.  Americans must fear/respect us (so they don't want us as their next 10 states).
Ha!  I'm actually not Canadian, though I did live Canada  for about two years as a kid.  I just roll through my list of "places I've previously lived" whenever people start grilling me about where I'm "from".

RetiredAt63

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #92 on: April 04, 2017, 05:00:22 PM »
Ha!  I'm actually not Canadian, though I did live Canada  for about two years as a kid.  I just roll through my list of "places I've previously lived" whenever people start grilling me about where I'm "from".
That must make for an interesting mish-mash of accents collected in your brain.

"from" can be within a country too - I was born in one province, my parents were born in other provinces and grew up in even other provinces, their parents were born in more other provinces - I think we have covered 7 provinces at one time or another.  And in my present small town, "from" means anyplace not here.

Keep being a strong (Asian) woman regardless of whatever nationality/background - stupid stereotypes must die!
The measure of civilization is how people treat one another.

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Abooki

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #93 on: April 04, 2017, 08:53:03 PM »
Can relate to all of this. I am from Uganda been in the USA for about 10 years. And I still get do I speak African. And then the store clerks speaking really slow to my parents who is highly educated only because they have accents.

In other news- habari gani fellow East African!!! 

Hi all,

If you are not an immigrant and have a similar experience do share. I've been in America for ten years (moved here when I was 15) and having moved from Kenya or as I tell all Americans "Africa" because Kenya gives everyone and I mean everyone, a blank look.

Nonetheless, obviously there are stereotypes about "Africa" hence the following are dumb questions I've been asked.

1.) How did you get here? I actually didn't understand this one at first but then I sarcastically answered I swam here and someone legitimately asked, "Really?" Another person told me that I could have come by ship. I had only been in America two weeks then, do you know how long a ship takes?
2.) "Why is your English so good?" or "Wow, your English is really good." I still get that to this very day. Someone told me this a month ago and I was like "Yes, I only speak it natively." I've known English my whole life!
3.) Do your ride elephants, walk around naked, live with lions, live in huts, live in the middle of the jungle, etc
4.) Do you speak African? Kenya itself has about forty languages and this is not unique to Kenya. Almost all African countries have multiple languages (NOT DIALECTS, we have dialects too). So this is like asking, do you speak European?
5.) I told someone in class that I had read Lord of The Flies in 8th grade and they were like "You read books in Africa?" I said no, we read leaves.

On a funnier note:
On an African comment section I was in I asked fellow Africans what lies we tell Americans and there were two funny ones.

1.) The air hostess taught me English.
2.) On the how did you get here question: All Africans are spiritually connected with animals and we use animals as a guide to travel hence we communicated with animals and walked across countries until we crossed the ocean and came here.
You'd be amazed what people can believe!

This is not unique to America, my African friends in the UK have similar experiences though not as bad as mine. However, even friends who are in Australia report the same questions. I also have had Australians tell me that Americans have asked them if they ride Kangaroos and I've had Americans get asked the same questions in other countries. Are we all fat?

Share your ridiculous questions as an immigrant. A great way to kill stereotypes.

tnevy4

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #94 on: April 05, 2017, 03:13:00 AM »
As a southern man abroad I get a lot of Cowboy, big American, and comments about elvis. Non southern Americans generally think I am stupid and grew up on a farm because of the way I sound.

Drifterrider

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #95 on: April 05, 2017, 09:31:09 AM »
I am not an immigrant; I'm a US citizen.  I was born in Africa: North Africa. 

I sometime check "African-American" on the government forms (to make a statement and because I object to the classification).

I've never been asked but I can see it in their eyes they are thinking "But you don't look black".

I've had a ready reply just in case someone ever does say it out loud :)


MMMaybe

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #96 on: April 05, 2017, 09:39:55 AM »
I am a (white) South African, which means that I get some very special questions. As an expat in Asia, it really confounds people when you tell them you are from Africa but are white. You can almost see the wheels turning in their heads when they try and figure out how that is possible. Perhaps, they think I am an albino? But I explain about colonialism and then it makes more sense. But some seem doubtful, regardless!

But some questions/comments I have come across: (other than those already mentioned)

"Did you have lions in your backyard?"
(During the Ebola outbreak) "Is your family worried about getting Ebola?" [No, we weren't because they would have needed to fly for 10 hours or so to get to the hot zone...]

Drifterrider

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #97 on: April 05, 2017, 10:35:39 AM »
I am a (white) South African, which means that I get some very special questions. As an expat in Asia, it really confounds people when you tell them you are from Africa but are white. You can almost see the wheels turning in their heads when they try and figure out how that is possible. Perhaps, they think I am an albino? But I explain about colonialism and then it makes more sense. But some seem doubtful, regardless!

But some questions/comments I have come across: (other than those already mentioned)

"Did you have lions in your backyard?"
(During the Ebola outbreak) "Is your family worried about getting Ebola?" [No, we weren't because they would have needed to fly for 10 hours or so to get to the hot zone...]

Were I you I think I would have taken the time to have a little sport.

"Did you have lions in your backyard"?  YES  or  We were too poor to afford a back yard.
"Is your family worried about getting Ebola"?  Not anymore.

But when you think about it, how many people from your "home country" know very much about your home country?  (this applies to all readers)>

BlueHouse

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #98 on: April 05, 2017, 12:36:00 PM »
I am not an immigrant; I'm a US citizen.  I was born in Africa: North Africa. 

I sometime check "African-American" on the government forms (to make a statement and because I object to the classification).

I've never been asked but I can see it in their eyes they are thinking "But you don't look black".

I've had a ready reply just in case someone ever does say it out loud :)

My brother-in-law told me (he's a real estate lawyer) that on some forms for mortgages where they ask for demographic information, if you do NOT fill out the questions about race and ethnicity, the loan writers are supposed to fill in the information based on what they think. 
Quote
The final section on the 1003 – “Information for Government Reporting Purposes” – is
related to government statistics. The section is referred to as the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
(HMDA) Section. It requests information regarding race, sex and national origin. None of this
information can be used to discriminate against the borrower, and it is at the applicant’s
discretion whether he/she completes this section. If the applicant decides not to furnish this
Mortgage Loan Origination Activities 10
(v7 | REV 2.0)
information, it will be up to the loan originator to make an “educated guess” concerning the
demographic information to report to the government
(only in regards to face-to-face
applications; not internet, mail, or telephone).
Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand

katsiki

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Re: Immigrants: Stupid questions you've been asked?
« Reply #99 on: April 05, 2017, 01:40:56 PM »
I am not an immigrant; I'm a US citizen.  I was born in Africa: North Africa. 

I sometime check "African-American" on the government forms (to make a statement and because I object to the classification).

I've never been asked but I can see it in their eyes they are thinking "But you don't look black".

I've had a ready reply just in case someone ever does say it out loud :)

My brother-in-law told me (he's a real estate lawyer) that on some forms for mortgages where they ask for demographic information, if you do NOT fill out the questions about race and ethnicity, the loan writers are supposed to fill in the information based on what they think. 
Quote
The final section on the 1003 – “Information for Government Reporting Purposes” – is
related to government statistics. The section is referred to as the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act
(HMDA) Section. It requests information regarding race, sex and national origin. None of this
information can be used to discriminate against the borrower, and it is at the applicant’s
discretion whether he/she completes this section. If the applicant decides not to furnish this
Mortgage Loan Origination Activities 10
(v7 | REV 2.0)
information, it will be up to the loan originator to make an “educated guess” concerning the
demographic information to report to the government
(only in regards to face-to-face
applications; not internet, mail, or telephone).

A govt agency once told me to do the same for employees on a diversity survey.  This was the "diversity department" of a state agency!  This came up because I explained that we do not collect this data on our employees.  They really wanted me to go "well, gee, she looks like she could be Asian.  He might be XYZ, etc".  It was nuts!
"busy eating lentils in a van by the river"